Jim Krusoe’s beset and bemused narrators are awash in a solution of Donald Barthelme’s worthy absurdities and Kafka’s mutating humor. In these surreal, dystopian tales, characters find their way into and out of Plato’s cave, mental hospitals, interspecies love affairs, plane crashes and Gypsy kidnappings. These narratives, which shapeshift and interpenetrate, contain everything form the rhapsodies of a night nurse, to a lyrical meditation on the egg, to lists of wryly named sexual positions. Krusoe’s universe is full of amazing chaos and deadpan astonishment.
When you enter Jim Krusoe’s wittily indeterminate world, your first instinct is to grope around for a literary coordinate. At first he reminds you of Kafka: the dreamlike inconsequentiality and gentle-sinister comedy—the half-human animals and evanescent temptresses. But the America that Krusoe inhabits is spelt with a C, not a K. He is robustly situated in his time and place, and he has a lilt that is all his own. In the end, he stopped reminding me of anyone. Jim Krusoe is an original. — Martin Amis